Background & Funding
In May 2002, Oregon voters passed a bond measure to support Oregon Health & Science University's Oregon Opportunity program. The goals of the program included improved health access for rural Oregonians, job creation, and improved research facilities. With these funds, OHSU invested in the Oregon Rural Practice-based Research Network (ORPRN).
ORPRN then developed, submitted, and was awarded a grant from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) for the creation of a practice-based research network (PBRN).
Originally started with 6 clinics, ORPRN now includes a total of 158 clinicians at 46 practices located in 36 rural communities. Together, these clinicians serve approximately 235,000 patients across the state.
The network covers the entire state of Oregon and is organized into regions, each served by a practice facilitator and research assistant called a Practice Enhancement Research Coordinator (PERC). ORPRN has become a fully established, statewide primary care research network of rural Oregon practitioners.
ORPRN is run by a set of bylaws and overseen by a 9-member steering committee comprised of rural clinicians. The core operations of ORPRN are conducted by physicians, scientists, and research staff at OHSU.